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The most known place to get Time Over

The player loses a life due to Time Over in the closed barrel room of Carnival Night Act 2 in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Time Over (also known as Time Up) refers to a moment in the video games, when the player has exceeded the available in-game time limit to complete a level. Time Over is also involved in Sonic the Hedgehog games, as similar to Game Over, words "Time Over" come to screen, when this moment happens.


In the early main installments for Sega Mega Drive, the time limit the player has to complete each Act is 10 minutes; otherwise they will lose a life. During the Act, the "Time" of the HUD on the top-left corner of the screen starts flashing after passing 9 minutes. After 10 minutes (even though it stops at 9 minutes 59 seconds), the player loses a life, while the Time Over message appears. After this the player will restart the Act from the latest Star Post, resetting the timer back to 0:00 as well. However if the player has lost all lives due to the Time Over, the Game Over message will show instead of the Time Over message.

In the two-player mode of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, if one of the players reaches the Signpost first, the other player also needs to reach to the signpost within 61 seconds. When 12 seconds are remaining, the drowning music starts playing at background until if the player runs out of time, then the Time Over appears. In Master System and Game Gear games, the time limit is also existent, while also in 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Chaos and Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, Special Stages also have certain time limit as well. The timer however counts backwards to the zero, as the player will be then transported out the Special Stage. Games such as Sonic Advance, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II also features Time Over like in earlier games. Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure have Time Over as well but they can be disabled in 'Options' but in this case during a stage, the time on the HUD will still flash red when it reaches 9 minutes and the timer stops on 9 min 59 sec but the player does not lose a life. Sonic Mania does make use of the Time Over as well (provided that the Time Limit is turned on), but the timer does not begin flashing at the 9-minute mark.

Since Sonic Adventure, the Time Over have become non-existent in 3D games, although there are small exceptions. For example, E-102 Gamma's missions in Sonic Adventure involve a time limit which starts at three minutes, and extra time is awarded for destroying the targets. If the time runs out, the player has to try the mission again. Sonic Adventure 2/Battle features action stages like Security Hall, where Rouge the Bat has to find the three Chaos Emeralds in Prison Island's security chamber within five minutes before the Prison Island blows up; the final boss, Finalhazard, is limited to four minutes before it enters atmosphere and destroys the planet. In Sonic Heroes, there are extra missions (namely all of Team Sonic's and some of Team Chaotix's) that involve reaching the Goal Ring or completing an objective within the given time limit. In Sonic Generations, there are some challenges which involve the time limit as well.

Sonic Lost World features the time limit on normal Zones of the game. On the Wii U/PC version, the timer will count down to zero instead of the standard timer. The stopwatch timer has been kept in Nintendo 3DS version of the game, similar to normal Sonic games. Getting a Time Over on the Nintendo 3DS version will cause the words "Time's Up" to appear, resetting the timer back to its full amount, depending on the Zone. When the player completes the stage if he/she got a Time Over, the best record for the player's time will not be written, as it will be blank.

Although Sonic Forces does not feature a life system at all, it also made use of the Time Over mechanic. Each stage in the game has a 60-minute time limit, which gives the player plenty of time to complete the stage. However, should the player take far too long, the clock will begin flashing at 59 minutes and 30 seconds. Should a Time Over occur, the game will end and the player will be returned to the World Map.


  • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, if the player waits three minutes at one stand, Sonic is then heard saying "I'm outer here!" and then jumps off of the screen and the player receives an instant Game Over.
  • The most well known place to get a Time Over by many fans, is in the closed barrel room of Carnival Night Act 2 in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, due to the confusion of the barrel's controlling.
  • In the manual of Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version), it is incorrectly stated that there is a time limit for day stages (10 minutes like the previous Sonic games) where it has been proven false.
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